'O' Group: The Battle of Gurun

About seven years ago myself and Dean refought the battle of Gurun using Rapid Fire and I wanted to give it a go as an 'O' Group game. I've got to say that a lot has changed on my table in the preceding seven years.... 

As the Rapid Fire scenario is based on battalion level, it is perfect for 'O' Group and only minor tweaking was required to make it work. I also exchanged some ideas with Dave Brown ('O' Group author) about Japanese training. I added a +1D6 to their close assault for the savage attacks they launched. He also suggested adding an extra dice for the defenders fire, replicating the wild upfront bayonet charge. One other suggestion Dave had was only using two combat patrols per company for the Allies, to reflect their poor jungle training. Although the latter two suggestions came too late for me to try them out in this game, I will be using them in future Malaya games. 

In the Battle of Gurun, two companies of the 2nd Surreys and elements of the 1/8th Punjabs defended the road south on the outskirts of Gurun. The Japanese spearheaded their attack with a platoon of Te-Ke Type 97 tankettes and a battalion of infantry. 

The Japanese only had to move at least one tank off the southern end of the road to win, splitting the allies in half and causing consternation in the rear areas. 

As the Japanese combat patrols advanced through the jungle, the Surreys began taking positions in the plantations and on the edge of Gurun. They were dug in, so would prove to be a difficult nut to crack...

However, the Type 97 platoon arrived and began their advance down the metalled road. 

Punjabs at the edge of the planation held up the Japanese infantry advance, but suffered shock as well. 

Using a company commander order the Punjabs moved forward with their integral AT rifle and attacked the advancing tanks, this failed, but fire from the 2lber AT gun in Gurun claimed one of the tankettes. 

Meanwhile, the Japanese began creeping through the plantations in order to close assault the defending Indians. 

A bayonet attack caused the Indians to flee and the tanks continued their advance!

Despite coming under fire from the 2lber and assorted AT rifles the three tanks were pushing through Gurun...

But the Surreys managed to man-handle the 2lber into a position to knock out another Type 97!

The company commander barked orders to the AT gun and it fired off another shot, claiming a third tank!

But it wasn't enough, the final fourth tank was able to get off the table edge and claim a Japanese victory. 

The game was over and with a conclusion that was similar to the actual battle. This was the first time trying 'O' Group in Malaya and it worked well, and made me think about revisiting the entire Malaya campaign using the rules. Stay tuned! below is the AAR of the game and a review of 'O' Group that you can also watch:


  1. It is always interesting to see the Brits in the Far east gamed.

    The 2pdr did some work there - a good gun for its time.

    Will look forward to the video.



    1. Cheers Pete, it's a great theatre for gaming opportunities. People always mock the smaller tanks and guns of the early war, but they were fine for the job they were expected to do.

  2. What a marvellous looking game. Lovely figures and vehicles and the terrain is superb!
    Regards, James


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